Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal (File photo)
Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal (File photo)

Farmers' protest: Parkash Singh Badal seeks PM's personal intervention in finding solution

ANI | Updated: Dec 07, 2020 23:56 IST

Chandigrah (Punjab) [India], December 7 (ANI): Former Punjab Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patriarch Parkash Singh Badal on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his "personal intervention" in reaching a solution to get the stalemate broken.
This comes ahead of December 8 'Bharat Bandh' call given by the farmers who are protesting against farm laws. SAD which broken its ties with NDA, soon after the passage of farm bills (now laws), has also supported the Bharat Bandh.
"I write this at a time when the problems facing the country are fast assuming the proportions of a grave crisis and our approach towards these needs an immediate course correction. I am deeply worried about ongoing farmers' crisis. It seems to me that issue could have been dealt with better if government had paid greater attention to honest feedback on what the brave and selfless 'annadata' of the nation really thought of the government's initiatives," Badal wrote in his letter to PM Modi.
"In addition, the government needed to take the stake-holders of the issue on board. I found it hard to believe that any government,especially one with such a massive mandate as yours, would allow a failure of this kind to affect its decision making. The government would have done well to enact a legislation affecting the destiny of millions and millions of farmers only after taking their representatives and the farmer-friendly political parties like the Shiromani Akali Dal in confidence," he added.
Badal said that consultation, conciliation and consensus are the foundation of any democracy.
"Consultative processes alone lead to consensus, and consensus alone is the recipe for avoiding confrontations like the one we see now between the government and the farmers. Once it became clear that the three Ordinances were not finding acceptance even among the Government's own Alliance partners like the Shiromani Akali Dal, the obvious course open to the Government was to convene an All Party Meeting. There is a democratic convention in our
country to follow this course whenever there is a national stalemate. The government would not have been bound to accept the Opposition's views but it would have gained from their wisdom. I was surprised that this option was not taken," he said.
Badal said that farmers' issue concerned every state government and agriculture in fact is a state subject and the state governments are in the best position to understand and address the issues of their respective farmers.
"The failure to consult states on an issue that concerns nearly 70 per cent of the country's total population shows the government's indifference to or rejection of the federal principle. This was unbelievable because you have yourself been among the biggest champions of federal structure," he said.
"I say this because I sincerely believe that the roots of the ongoing crisis lie in the abdication of our commitment to the federal approach. The farmers' crisis is not the only instance where this inclusive approach to nation building has been ignored or abandoned. The county and its government need to follow an approach based on widespread consultation and consensus. The scars left by our failure to do so in the recent divisive and destabilizing moments will take a long time to heal," he cautioned.
Badal said that the country has seen how statesmen like Atal Behari Vajpayee understood and respected the beauty of the diversity of our nation and turned it into an asset.
"The ongoing farmers' crisis needs your immediate and undivided attention. In the circumstances, I strongly urge you to show magnanimity in approach and to personally intervene to get the stalemate broken," Badal requested PM Modi.
Badal demanded that the three farm laws must be withdrawn.
"As a first step, the three Acts in question that have pushed the country into deep turmoil must be withdrawn without making the farmers and their families endure any more suffering in this biting cold. The issue does not concern farmers alone but affects the entire economic fabric of the country, as traders, businessmen, shopkeepers, arhtiyas and labour are also directly affected by it," he said
"In addition, the Government must categorically make 100 per cent procurement of farmers' produce at Minimum Support Price (fixed as per Swaminathan Formula, C2+50) a statutory legal right of the farmer," he added.
Parkash Badal said that he wish to re-emphasize the need for a liberal, secular democratic approach to solve all the problems facing the country today, including this one. "I request your immediate personal intervention in this regard," he said.
On December 3, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patriarch Parkash Singh Badal returned the Padma Vibhushan award "in protest" against the "betrayal of the farmers by the Government of India" and for the "shocking indifference and contempt" with which the government is treating the ongoing peaceful and democratic agitation of the farmers. (ANI)